During the Global Lyme Alliance Gala in New York City last night, Yolanda Foster—mother of Bella and Gigi Hadid—was honored with the “Power of One” award for her courageous fight against Lyme Disease. Foster was introduced by Gigi, who highlighted how her mother has been using the platform of The Real Housewives to spread awareness about her condition. “She was honest, unapologetic, and raw in how she portrayed Lyme disease on social media and on the show from the second she announced to the world she had been diagnosed,” said the oldest Hadid.
But a real surprise came during Foster’s acceptance speech, when she revealed that Bella and her brother Anwar were both diagnosed with Lyme Disease three years ago. “When my two youngest children, Bella and Anwar, were diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease in early 2012, watching my babies struggle in silence in order to support me in my journey, struck the deepest core of hopelessness inside of me,” said Foster.
“This award is for Anwar and Bella. This is my token and my promise to you that I will not allow you to live a life of pain and suffering. I will walk to the end of the earth to find a cure so that you can live a healthy life that you deserve,” Foster said. “No child should suffer the way that you do ... I thank you both for your extraordinary selflessness during this journey. Your unwavering love and compassion has kept me alive and fighting through the darkest days of my life.”
Foster’s speech was touching and heartfelt as she apologized to her children for missing out on experiences due to her condition: “I am so sorry for all the important things I have missed in your life these past four years,” said Foster, who at one point lost the ability to read and write because of the ailment. “I used to be a pretty cool, smart, multi-tasking, kickass mom. But all three of you, all three of my children really got short-changed with a dumb blonde in the white robe, that mostly lives her life in bed,” she added.
In addition to all of the Hadid siblings being present, Gigi Hadid’s boyfriend Joe Jonas and Foster’s husband David also attended the event to show their support.